Commentary

A Quick Survey of "Broken" Asset Classes

Pundits, prognosticators, and even investment boards often make misleading declarations that an asset class is broken, that its prospects for earning investors a reasonable future return are very dim. These proclamations can lead to investors’ abandoning these assets to chase recent winners.

Commentary

The COVID-19 Crash and the Abandonment of the Pensioner

Between mid-February and late March 2020, we saw a “take no prisoners” market crash. Anything with a whiff of perceived risk crashed, in direct proportion to its perceived risk. The only assets that soared—because of tumbling interest rates—were long Treasury bonds, and with them, the net present value of pension obligations.

Commentary

Reports of Value's Death May Be Greatly Exaggerated

The Fama–French value factor, and value investing in general, has suffered an extraordinarily long 13.3 years of underperformance relative to the growth investing style. The current drawdown has been by far the longest as well as the largest since July 1963. Arnott, Harvey, Kalesnik, and Linnainmaa examine the potential causes of value’s underperformance and provide estimates of value’s performance relative to growth’s performance under different revaluation scenarios over the next decade.

Commentary

FOMO vs. Fundamentals

Unlike most macro investors who are event-driven, RBA has always strictly followed fundamentals. Our models and indicators have been time-tested in multiple cycles over the past 30 years, and a deliberate and disciplined approach has so far served us well in the current unprecedented environment.

Commentary

Too Soon? Pandemic Policy Response Raises Risk of Inflation

The Fed’s $5 trillion bazooka, helicopter drops of cash, and a tripling of deficits over the next two years imply a future bout of high and volatile inflation unless fiscal policy nimbly pivots to help prevent the toxic side effect of a spike in inflation. Is that expectation realistic?

Commentary

As Markets Burn

Major adjustments in capital markets around the globe have changed our long-term expected return forecasts for the 100+ assets we model. Before the corona crash we forecast long-term real returns for US equities to be only 1% a year. Now new, lower valuations suggest higher returns.

Commentary

Leading in Uncertain Times

In times of uncertainty, good leaders lean into crisis and are able to fully engage, motivate, and inspire their team. The serious and stressful challenge of the COVID-19 crisis demands that leaders embrace flexibility, curiosity, and openness to diverse perspectives.

Commentary

The Distinction between a Company and Its Stock Price

We at Research Affiliates recently conducted our first virtual All Hands meeting after finding ourselves working from home in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. As CIO, I responded to questions about our investment strategy. Katy Sherrerd, CEO, and Jeff Wilson, Head of Distribution, asked me to elaborate more broadly on my response to one of the questions submitted by email the day prior.

Commentary

With Volatility Comes Opportunity

Uncertainty continues to dominate global securities markets and heightened volatility is the result. Feifei Li, partner and head of equities, asks Rob Arnott, the founder and chairman of Research Affiliates, about the implications of increased volatility on investment strategies and where investors can find the best opportunities.

Commentary

This Too Shall Pass

Rob Arnott shares his perspective on the ongoing market crisis in a Q&A with Jonathan Treussard. He suggests the time to buy is when investors are at “peak fear.” In the weeks ahead, that point will come and bargains will make themselves self-evident to the disciplined investor. The window of opportunity will be short, but highly rewarding over the longer term.

Commentary

Oh My! What’s This Stuff Really Worth?

What impact will coronavirus and market volatility have on your portfolio?

Commentary

Reports of Value's Death May Be Greatly Exaggerated

The current drawdown has been by far the longest as well as the second largest since July 1963, eclipsed only by the tech bubble from 1997 to 2000. Arnott, Harvey, Kalesnik, and Linnainmaa examine the potential causes of value’s underperformance and provide estimates of value’s performance relative to growth’s performance under different revaluation scenarios over the next decade.

Commentary

Forecasts or Nowcasts? What’s on the Horizon for the 2020s

Now is the season for forecasting as one decade turns into the next. Pundits and market prognosticators too often treat nowcasts as true market forecasts, which can be very dangerous for investors’ financial health. Our forecasts for the decade ahead rely on empirically driven quantitative models.

Commentary

Plausible Performance: Have Smart Beta Return Claims Jumped the Shark?

To get the attention of smart beta investors in a crowded marketplace, some smart beta providers are laying claim to performance that appears implausible. So what is plausible? We look at historical live performance to answer this important question.

Commentary

Standing Alone Against the Crowd: Abandon Value? Now?!?

Key Points

  • In a prolonged anti-value momentum-driven rally, it’s easy and natural to forget the long-term value proposition of a rebalancing discipline.
  • The evidence and intuition underlying a contrarian value investing discipline has proven merit in cycle after cycle across history.
  • By steadily rebalancing against the market’s most extravagant bets, RAFI strategies are positioned to recoup accumulated shortfall at the cycle’s turn, delivering meaningful long-term value-add.
  • The continued outperformance of today’s most dominant companies is unlikely to be sustainable in the long run.